Many video games are available for multiple platforms, like Minecraft for example. However, some games are made exclusively for a specific console. So if you’re dying to play Halo or Forza, you'll need an Xbox. Heard great things about Uncharted or The Last of Us? Sony’s PlayStation is the only place they are available. Likewise, any title in Nintendo’s Mario or Zelda franchises can only be played on its devices.

Nintendo instituted a strict licensing program to ensure that the industry crash – with its glut of games of questionable quality -- would not happen with the NES. No unlicensed games would be tolerated on the NES platform. All games would have to be approved by Nintendo and third parties could only create a certain number of games a year for the NES, while the same games could not be made for competing consoles for two years.


The company was already seeing insane success with the Famicom in Japan with its release in 1983, and after two years, it was time to bring that success to a new territory. After a failed attempt to partner with Atari to bring the system to the US, the company decided to do the job itself. The Famicom hardware was given a sleeker, more Western-friendly appearance, and the NES was born. The initial release in 1985 was only a test in specific US markets, but it was shipped across the country after the Holiday season in 1986.
Video games have changed the way we tell stories – and with more and more possibilities to change a certain story in a game with an interactive narrative, where you as a player are faced with crucial decisions, more complex stories can be told. Games for Playstation, Xbox and PC give us the possibility to take risks that feel real without having the real world knock on the door with real world consequences. Part of what is so alluring about a first-person shooter game is that you as a player can shoot a heat-seeking missile at a building and see the results – without ending up in prison.
You've got to see it to believe it. Lifelike graphics and extraordinary adventures take you away to a gamer's paradise. Take the reins with friends, family, or simply on your own—there's no exact way to play! Score our selection of Nintendo games or PlayStation games, and dive into incredible ways to get active, learn new tricks, outsmart your opponent, or just be entertained.

The Switch has proven to be a boon for third-party publishers and indie developers, too. The ability to play nearly any game in either home console or handheld mode breathes new life into older and smaller titles that were previously limited to TV-based systems. This has resulted in a surge of ports and remakes of classic games from the last few console generations like Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls, Katamari Damacy, Okami, and Onimusha: Warlords. If that isn't enough, the system has received an explosion of excellent indie games including Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Night in the Woods, Stardew Valley, and Undertale. It's a fantastic selection for a system that's been around for less than two years (even if we're still waiting for a Switch port of Super Mario Maker).
Once upon a time, Sonic The Hedgehog, the mascot of the Sega Genesis, was more popular than Nintendo’s Mario. Sega Genesis came out before the Super Nintendo in 1989 and had a head start with introducing to the world a true 16-bit home entertainment video game console boasting one of the best controllers ever made and a wide array of superior sports games.
Its strengths as a gaming console are its downfall when it comes to reliving the system in today's generation: most of, if not all, of the biggest hits on the Colecovision were games that Coleco didn't own. The company held very few gaming intellectual properties, instead putting all its money behind licensing other publishers' products. Telegames produced an official Colecovision compilation featuring emulated games for the Windows platform, but it lacked many of the titles that made the platform a popular system to own in the early ‘80s.
New gaming consoles cost between $130 and $500, and includes traditional consoles as well as handheld and hybrid consoles. Prices increase according to processing power, but there are other factors to consider such as game selection and home entertainment center multimedia options, like streaming video. Special or limited edition consoles can cost more.

From a slender elf to a trained macho assassin, many people spend a significant part of their life in a virtual world of computer games. Computer games are no longer the attribute of only nerds behind closed blinds but are played today by people of both genders and of all ages. Computer games can gather families for competitions in front of the flat screen and game enthusiasts from all over the world via the Internet, but they can also shield from strangers on the bus or from the complex world outside of the bedroom. Some are sceptic and anxious, while others cannot lower their arms from the excitement about the games’ learning potential.
What follows here it T3's top picks of the best game consoles available to buy today. We've selected a series of systems at a variety of price points and intended usage scenarios, too, meaning that no matter your budget, and no matter if you want a powerful portable or multimedia home console, we're sure you'll find something that suits your gaming needs.
^ Jump up to: a b 10–13 million, not including recent Brazil sales figures.[45][46] Screen Digest wrote in a 1995 publication that the Master System's active installed user base in Western Europe peaked at 6.25 million in 1993. Those countries that peaked are France at 1.6 million, the United Kingdom at 1.35 million, Germany at 700 thousand, Spain at 550 thousand, the Netherlands at 200 thousand, and other Western European countries at 1.4 million. However, Belgium peaked in 1991 with 600 thousand, and Italy in 1992 with 400 thousand. Thus it is estimated approximately 6.8 million units were purchased in this part of Europe.[47] 1 million were sold in Japan as of 1986.[48] 2 million were sold in the United States.[49] 8 million were sold by Tectoy in Brazil as of 2016.[50]
Created by famed gaming company SNK, Neo-Geo is interesting in that their system was launched in two different formats. There was the MVS (Multi Video System), which was a traditional coin-operated arcade cabinet that could support 6 different games at a time, and the AES (Advanced Entertainment System), what started as a rent-only platform in Japan and would become their home console. At the time, the AES was the most powerful gaming system ever launched. But, though it had an impressive lineup of excellent games, it suffered in the U.S. due to its extremely high sale price – $650 (roughly $1,250 today). Regardless, the Neo-Geo is something of a cult classic, which was only bolstered by the portable version of their console.
While Sony and Microsoft were battling it out over social networks, graphical and processing capabilities, and a pair of failed motion-camera peripherals, Nintendo was quietly working on what would go down as their most innovative console to date. The Wii was released to wildly successful sales, so much so that they hadn’t actually produced enough consoles to meet demand. And while the controller scheme was foreign to gamers as a whole, it worked well and turned the Wii into something of a party console – which people turned to for entertainment when they had company over. In fact, the game that shipped with the console (Wii Sports) would end up being one of its all-time most popular games. And for good reason: it was a hell of a lot of fun.
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It also comes with new exclusive game titles, additional buttons and a lower price, making it a smart choice for both seasoned gamers and new Nintendo fans. The redesign of the 2DS, in comparison with the 3DS, is mostly physical. Certain features, like the speakers, card slot, stylus and power button, were relocated. It has additional new buttons, including an analog C stick and secondary trigger ZL/ZR buttons to enhance gameplay. The clamshell’s hinge now protrudes behind the device, instead of being more internally hidden, and houses the front-facing camera and microphones. This destroys the clean lines of the 2DS XL when closed and makes selfies look awkward unless you take that into account and adjust the angle. The included stylus is much smaller than its previous iteration, making it slightly harder for adults to grip. However, Nintendo’s choice to completely omit the 3D display makes the device less top-heavy and more balanced and easier to hold. In fact, the 2DS XL is thinner and lighter overall, making it easier to hold for lengthy gaming sessions. All existing DS and 3DS games can be played, though now only in 2D. New exclusive titles that launched with the 2DS XL include Xenoblade Chronicles and Fire Emblem Warriors, as well as the Super NES Virtual Console games.

Nintendo has come along way from its eight-bit handheld Gameboy system to its now robust and powerful face-tracking, 3D-capable, Wi-Fi-enabled Nintendo 3DS XL system. It can play local and online multiplayer, so you and other 3DS owners around the world or in the neighborhood can play games such as Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart 7. The Nintendo 3DS XL measures 1.5 x 7.1 x 5.1 inches, weighs 1.1 pounds and comes in a variety of unique colors.
Born from a failed attempt to create a console with Nintendo, Sony's PlayStation would not only dominate its generation but become the first console to sell over 100 million units by expanding the video game market. Sony actively courted third parties and provided them with convenient c libraries to write their games. Sony had built the console from the start as a 3D, disc-based system, and emphasized its 3D graphics that would come to be viewed as the future of gaming. The PlayStation's CD technology won over several developers who had been releasing titles for Nintendo and Sega's fourth generation consoles, such as Konami, Namco, Capcom, and Square. CDs were far cheaper to manufacture and distribute than cartridges were, meaning developers could release larger batches of games at higher profit margins; Nintendo's console, on the other hand, used cartridges, unwittingly keeping third-party developers away. The PlayStation's internal architecture was simpler and more intuitive to program for, giving the console an edge over Sega's Saturn.
Like the Wii, the Wii U comes with its own set of exclusive games designed especially for the console. It plays all Wii classics and works seamlessly with older Wii accessories. If you want a faster and better looking Wii that still plays all your favorite games like Mario and Zelda, then Wii U is a great option. If you are a Mario fan, then Wii U is definitely the best console to own. The console is also unique because the Wii U gamepad has its own touchscreen. So it’s like a Nintendo DS, but not as portable. Wii U is pretty great for playing the kid-friendly classics.
The company was already seeing insane success with the Famicom in Japan with its release in 1983, and after two years, it was time to bring that success to a new territory. After a failed attempt to partner with Atari to bring the system to the US, the company decided to do the job itself. The Famicom hardware was given a sleeker, more Western-friendly appearance, and the NES was born. The initial release in 1985 was only a test in specific US markets, but it was shipped across the country after the Holiday season in 1986.
Another console designed to be technologically superior to the Atari 2600, the ColecoVision was intended to be a more powerful second generation home console with the ability to have its basic hardware expanded through later releases. Like the Intellivision, this gaming console featured a rotary and number pad controller, but saw a stronger initial release thanks largely to the fact that the system came bundled with Nintendo’s Donkey Kong – one of the most popular games of its time. This short-lived console was killed off prematurely, however, as the parent brand pulled out of the video game industry in 1985 – causing the ColecoVision to be discontinued the same year.
"The Dreamcast launch was a huge deal for me. In fact, the day before the launch, this really amazing girl came into my work and asked me out. And we were on a date that was going so well, but I kept looking at my watch thinking, "I have to get ready for the DC launch." Yeah, I chose the Dreamcast over hooking up with a hot girl and I'd do it again."
Nintendo was the last to release a fifth generation console with their Nintendo 64, and when they finally released their console in North America, it came with only two launch titles. Partly to curb piracy and partly as a result of Nintendo's failed disc projects with Sony (as SNES-CD) and Philips, Nintendo used cartridges for their console. The higher cost of cartridges drove many third party developers to the PlayStation. The Nintendo 64 could handle 3D polygons better than any console released before it, but its games often lacked the cut-scenes, soundtracks, and voice-overs that became standard on PlayStation discs. Nintendo released several highly acclaimed titles, such as Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Nintendo 64 was able to sell tens of millions of units on the strength of first-party titles alone, but its constant struggles against Sony would make the Nintendo 64 the last home console to use cartridges as a medium for game distribution until the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
New gaming consoles cost between $130 and $500, and includes traditional consoles as well as handheld and hybrid consoles. Prices increase according to processing power, but there are other factors to consider such as game selection and home entertainment center multimedia options, like streaming video. Special or limited edition consoles can cost more.
“Though it has an expensive upfront cost, it pays out tenfold with a wide selection of games that fit anyone’s style, mind-blowing graphics, and a variety of entertainment options,” one of our testers declared of the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console. Our reviewers also liked the simple setup — “You can easily get connected in under five minutes,” noted one tester. And while the online functionality, which you need to play most of the popular games, requires a $60/year membership, one of our reviewers explained its value: “It is worth noting, however, that you get a lot in return for this service, including free games every month that you keep for as long as your membership is active.” Our testers also mentioned long update times and download speeds, but felt the overall product was a great buy “for serious gamers.”
As its second disc-based console, SEGA sought to learn from the mistakes it made with the Saturn with the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast marked a comprehensive overhaul of SEGA's marketing and design strategy, aiming for a more diverse audience with quality software and a number of technological innovations. The Dreamcast was the first console to incorporate a built-in modem for online play, and while the networking lacked the polish and refinement of its successors, it was the first time users could seamlessly power on and play with users around the globe. Additionally, the Dreamcast also launched its own proprietary disc format, GD-ROM, which boasted an extra 500 MBs of data capacity over CDs.

The Nintendo 3DS XL features a C stick for better in-game controls, NFC connectivity, and compatibility with amiibo figures. A Nintendo-rich library of 3DS titles is at your fingertips, headed by a host of Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda games. Overall, this is a great option for users who like a high-quality portable gaming experience at a reasonable price point.

The massive popularity of Let's Plays on YouTube and game streaming on Twitch has brought capturing game footage to the mainstream, so both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 feature built-in capture options. The Kinect lets you record clips just by saying "Xbox, record that," and thanks to the latest update you can easily capture what you're playing just by double-tapping the Xbox button on your gamepad and pressing X or Y to save a screenshot or video clip. You can also snap the Game DVR app to the side of the screen to record up to five minutes of footage on demand.
This console comes in two versions with either 16 GB of storage or 500 GB. The price difference between the two versions is only $100, which is remarkable. We were very impressed with this console because it’s not just a console. It combines the capabilities of a Playstation and a Roku. In other words, Nvidia Shield is an entertainment center where you can play games, listen to music, or stream Netflix. It comes with a number of accompanying apps and Android TV software. It’s very convenient when you only want a single device for streaming and gaming.
From a slender elf to a trained macho assassin, many people spend a significant part of their life in a virtual world of computer games. Computer games are no longer the attribute of only nerds behind closed blinds but are played today by people of both genders and of all ages. Computer games can gather families for competitions in front of the flat screen and game enthusiasts from all over the world via the Internet, but they can also shield from strangers on the bus or from the complex world outside of the bedroom. Some are sceptic and anxious, while others cannot lower their arms from the excitement about the games’ learning potential.
Nintendo was the last to release a fifth generation console with their Nintendo 64, and when they finally released their console in North America, it came with only two launch titles. Partly to curb piracy and partly as a result of Nintendo's failed disc projects with Sony (as SNES-CD) and Philips, Nintendo used cartridges for their console. The higher cost of cartridges drove many third party developers to the PlayStation. The Nintendo 64 could handle 3D polygons better than any console released before it, but its games often lacked the cut-scenes, soundtracks, and voice-overs that became standard on PlayStation discs. Nintendo released several highly acclaimed titles, such as Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Nintendo 64 was able to sell tens of millions of units on the strength of first-party titles alone, but its constant struggles against Sony would make the Nintendo 64 the last home console to use cartridges as a medium for game distribution until the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
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